The Men From The Ministry

Edward Taylor

A biographical sketch written on the occasion of his retirement
by Jonathan James-Moore

reproduced from Ariel (the house journal of the BBC),
page 8, Tuesday March 5, 1991

After a glittering Cambridge career, where he gained a First as well as writing and performing in the 1955 In Between the Lines Footlights revue, he joined the Variety Department in Aeolian Hall as a production assistant.

He has been a distinguished contributor to the history of Radio comedy from the Golden Days to the present day.

Perceptive notes at his first interview reveal that he was thought to have "the makings of a very good producer"; they were not wrong.

Within a year, he had 'worked on Life of Bliss, Ray's a Laugh' and had created an off beat revue show By and Large, starring Peter Jones.

Ted's most enduring productions have been Does the Team Think (over 300 editions) and Men from the Ministry (over 150 editions), which he also co-wrote.

He was script editor for 15 years during which time he helped launch I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again and guide the transition from Beyond Our Ken to Round The Horne.

It was his sure hand that guided many new writers and their scripts from first draft to transmission, and his judgements and encouragment will always be valued by them as his professionalism and advice is by contemprary producers.

Ted's expertise has covered a wide range, from the light drama of Dr Finlay's Casebook, to situation comedy such as the current Mind You Own Business into the unscripted world of the star comedians in Pull the Other One.

He also presides over such successful parlour games as Hoax and Just a Minute.

In recent years, his personal knowledge of Light Entertainment history has paid dividends in a series of nostalgic career celebrations with such artists as Patricia Hayes, Clive Dunn, Norman Wisdom, Cyril Fletcher and Richard Murdoch.

Ted's first wish was always to make programmes but, nevertheless, he shouldered management responsibility and worked as chief producer (comedy) amd as assistant head of Light Entertainment.

Our thanks go to him, together with our admiration for the way he has dealt with his recent disability in such a dignified and independent manner; an example to us all.

I hope that he will enjoy his retirement wth Sue and his young daughter Imogen, secure in the knowledge that he has played such a valuable part in the life of Radio Light Entertainment.

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